May 072012

The Catshack Reports recently acquired the new R7 Re-Play Helmet/Marker Camera courtesy of Mr. Greg “Red” Hastings. The package itself arrived via UPS and our initial impression was a positive one. Looking over some very solid packaging, the camera itself was neatly and securely packaged with a pouch inside to include various accessories that it comes with. Personally and with all things paintball I care less about packaging and so much more about the product itself and all of  its capabilities. Once opened we next looked over the new technology and carefully read the directions. Important note, anyone with a camera background can certainly take the time to read the directions but ultimately it is not really as necessary as it is extremely easy to figure out and operate.

Examining it closely, the camera housing itself is clearly one VERY solid piece of hardware. The outer metal casing can most certainly take a real beating as other reviews of the camera have already noted. Further still… and not a test we are going to undertake ourselves as we do plan to employ the R7 in filming games, the R-7 has been shown as water resistant, this at least to me is huge. No larger than one of those small LED flashlights, it creates a sleek, unobtrusive profile while mounted on your helmet or marker. Compared to other systems, the R-7 most certainly rates higher in terms of size and the abuse it can take in rough conditions while on the paintball field or anywhere. Out of the box are all the needed accessories to include multiple camera mounts for the helmet as well as a marker mount, 4GB memory card and the power cord etc etc.

Putting it to use, the R7 Re-Play could not have arrived at a better time, within hours of departure to this years EMR Spring Castle Conquest, The Catshack Reports received and was pumped to add the new camera to our media machine. Several instances saw filming taking place utilizing three cameras simultaneously while on the field this year… now how cool is that!

What I particularly like is the ease of operation. When mounted to the helmet one need simply reach up and hit the power up. The camera vibrates three times to let you know the power is on, then to the rear of the camera simply hit record and once more the camera vibrates three times to let you know it is live and filming. Hit the button again and it adds audio to the track.

On to the footage, tearing open the camera and pulling all of the Quicktime clips from the R-7, the result was not just impressive, it was fantastic! Number one, filming from the perspective of filming the on field photographer filming a paintball game was one result that made for some interesting video. Further still, rendering the video and combining it with all the other clips, the R-7 footage came out in beautiful crystal clear 1080 HD making this tiny camera, in my personal opinion,  a top notch piece of tech.

Speaking with Greg he also mentions “If there are any problems simply hit the reset button on the back. It automatically returns the camera to the 1080 default setting if you have difficulty turning it on. Rendering clips at 720HD at 60 Frames Per Second works best if you have the camera mounted on your marker, that setting really picks up the paintballs flying through the air.

If you are using a Mac, delete your card, then empty the trash into the bin, then eject the card. Mac leaves a cookie that might tell the camera its full” adds Greg.

I highly recommend the R7 Re-Play to anyone with a penchant for filming in any extreme sport situation. I wish I had this camera to use a long time ago. For our video production visit The Catshack Reports Paintball News YouTube Channel with a visual explanation to include some footage showing the camera in real world use.

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